Google News Struggles In Scandinavia

    November 20, 2006

Media groups in Norway and Denmark have begun, like several others before them, to protest Google News’s practices. The Norwegian association objects to the reproduction of certain images and photographs, while the Danish faction is asking Google to make separate arrangements with each publisher.

Google News has already faced opposition in a number of other countries, including France and Belgium. The writers at Pandia (which is based in Oslo, Norway) were quick to point out that there is no unified opposition against the search engine company, however.

“Pandia for one is glad to be included in Google News results, and we believe it benefits both us and Google to have news articles like this one included in news search results,” a post on the site declared. A key point followed: “Nor do we think that Google is violating our intellectual property rights by quoting our headlines.”

Nathan Stoll, product manager of Google News, spoke to Dagens Naeringsliv about the issue. (Pandia, thankfully, translated part of the conversation.) “I have had more phone calls from people that complain about not being included, than publishers concerned about copyright,” Stoll said.

The issue of photographs, however, remains contentious. The Pandia article stated that “a photograph constitutes a complete work of art. To copy that image without paying the photographer or the copyright owner looks like a intellectual property right violation to us.”

While it remains to be seen how Google will respond to the Norwegian issue, the company has already reacted to the request for separate publisher arrangements in Denmark. According to Navneet Kaushal, “letters have been sent to the newspapers by Google.”

All that ink and paper was probably a lot less costly than another court battle.


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.